A lot of people look for Bengal Cat Rescue centers. How do I know? A lot of people search for them using the phrase which is the title to this article. Bengal cats are very popular but not the most popular cat (see top 10 based on website poll [opens in new window]). A search for rescue centers and the number of them will tell us quite a lot about the consumer “market” of Bengal cats.
Note this please: there are some portal sites which Google brings up when searching for Bengal Cat Rescue. These sites have no connection with rescuing Bengal cats but are just using (and some would say abusing) the fact that a lot of people search for rescued Bengal cats.
I will attempt to cover this subject on a global level, while focusing on the USA, UK, rest of Europe and rest of world in that order.
As usual it is worth remembering that purebred cat breeders will almost always (am I being too generous?) agree to take a cat back if there is a problem with the new keeper or will assist or take charge of rehoming. On this basis there should be few Bengal cats being dealt with by rescue organizations.
The most likely problem will be (but not uniquely) behavior orientated in my opinion. I mean the cat’s behavior is found to be unsuitable or unmanageable. This may be because of something the person is doing or due to the environment in which the cat finds himself. All these problems can be resolved so it may be that people are giving up on their Bengal cat too soon. All that said my research indicates that there are not many Bengal cat rescue centers worldwide so there aren’t that many Bengal cats that require rescuing. A good sign.
Another point, people looking to find a Bengal cat from a rescue center might think about contacting Bengal cat breeders and adopting a retired breeding cat. TIBCS (see below – USA) make arrangements for this so there is obviously a demand. Breeding cats will normally be top quality cats.
Bengal Rescue Network This is another website that seems to be under performing (no criticism of course is meant as this is a charity – there is no obligation to do anything) as parts are under construction and the last update was some 6 months ago (as at May 2008). Anyway, the site is a contact point and it may develop nicely in the future. They work across the USA and Canada through a network of volunteers. It seems to be communications hub/agency rather than an actual Bengal cat rescue center rehoming cats.
This organization operates a Yahoo Groups network. Yahoo Groups is a form of networking between people with a common interest using email and posting. You’ll have to have a Yahoo account (easy to set up) and be accepted by the group. But this could be an excellent way to “keep in the loop” on the matter of Bengal cat rescue in the USA.
The International Bengal Cat Society – (TIBCS) rescue section. This is a group of enthusiasts (including Bengal cat breeders) who have got together to promote and assist Bengal cats. That includes finding homes for breeding cats that have been retired, “special needs” cats and cats that need rehoming by the breeder concerned (I am not sure what the circumstances are for this last category of Bengal cat other than as mentioned above). This is a good, well organized and updated website. Well worth a visit.
California Bengal Cat Rescue They appear to divide the rescue operation into north and south California. They use foster families rather than have their own specialist facilities. This is, though, a real operation with (at the time of writing this – May 2008) more cats than foster homes.
The International Bengal Cat Connection (TIBCC) Nice site. Adoption fees seem to be $50-100. To give a feel for the numbers, they say that 32 Bengal cats have been adopted since Sept. 2006. I don’t know how current the cats up for adoption are on the website. I think dates would help. They seem to operate with foster families as above and therefore can coordinate nationwide.
Petfinder is a very busy site and as you probably know doesn’t specialize in cats or Bengal cats but you might get lucky. But it is likely that less than 2% will be purebred Bengal cats (source: well known breeder).
Great Lakes Bengal Rescue Serves the Great Lakes areas: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin. They have 25 foster homes. Nice clean well organized website indicating the same standard applies in the running of the organization.
Bengal Cat Rescue of the Rockies – broken link at 19th Jan 2013 — This takes you too an “umbrella” website that lists this rescue center. I do not know if the center is functioning. 1-800-Save-A-Pet – broken link as above — The Rockies rescue above was found on this site, which I am not sure about but worth a look. Purebred cats will probably be hard to find in general pet rescue but not impossible, I suspect.
PUREBRED CAT RESCUE – click on the link to visit a page dedicated to purebred cat rescue generally, which includes more than is here. It covers a lot of possible sources and more selected Yahoo Groups, for example.
Bengal Cat Rescue – at the time of reviewing this website it was not in good shape but it did present itself at the top of a Google search. I am not actually sure that this organization is functioning as at May 2008, but a visit would be in order as a good starting point for the UK.
The Bengal Cat Club have a rehoming section but once again I feel that the website and the organization is not fulfilling its potential. This website is also worth a visit, and a follow up phone call may help. The club claims to be strong on welfare so the concern for rehoming is in place. The club is affiliated to the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF). It looks as though they operate nationally as a coordinator rather than have the facilities to home and rehome Bengal cats.
Cat Register and Rescue This is not a website that you would easily find. The organization is based in Falkirk, Scotland. It seems that they use fostering facilities (people who agree to care a cat until rehomed permanently). They do not deal with Bengals exclusively but the author of the CatsInfo website adopted a Bengal from them.
RSPCA Although not concerned only with Bengal Cats, this page of their site is worth a look.
I would try Yahoo Groups. There are almost 1500 involved in cat rescue!. Click on this link to scroll through them (make a cup of tea first!). These groups are a great way to meet like minded people and find out what is going on “on the ground”. It is obviously unlikely that you will find a Bengal cat rescue organization anywhere other than the major cat fancy countries.
A search didn’t produce a Bengal cat rescue center but there are a number of Bengal cat breeders in Australia so there are almost bound to be some (probably a small number) of Bengal cats that need rescuing. Purebred cats are relatively rare in general cat rescue centers, please note.
Ingrid’s Haven This is a straight forward cat rescue center. I didn’t see any Bengal cats but it is, it seems, an active site so you may get lucky and you can email them and ask. If you are not completely committed to adopting a purebred Bengal, sometimes non-specialist cat rescue centers have Bengal cross (half Bengal cat) cats for rehoming.
Pet Rescue Another general pet rescue center. I saw a Bengal cross (non-purebred) that needed rehoming.
Happy Paws This is an on line arrangement service for people wishing to rehome and those wishing to adopt. Not Bengal cat specific.
Cat Rescue Networked arrangement of carers, fosterers, pulled together by this organization. Fine website. I like this one. But it is as you guessed not Bengal cat rescue specific. Worth asking I would have thought as you might get some leads.
Some more thoughts on avoiding Bengal cat rescue
It probably goes without saying that if there were no Bengal cats given up or abandoned there would be no Bengal cat rescue. That must be the target for all who love cats and animals. How to approach this Utopian state of affairs?
It starts with both the cat breeder of Bengals and the “buyer”, the new keeper. The most common reason for giving up on keeping a Bengal cat is the behavior of the cat. The Bengal cat behaves a little differently to the common mixed breed cat but not that differently. An adopter should know about Bengal cat behavior before adopting and, of course, about the Bengal cat breed generally. The new keeper should also ask some questions of him/herself and choose a cat as wisely as possibly. If there are behavioral problems the person keeping the cat should objectively look at their circumstances and behavior as this can have a big effect on the behavior of the cat. All cats like settled homes and routines. This equates to a comfort zone, something humans like as well.
Good stable conditions and environment and a sympathetic approach should result in good Bengal cat behavior. If not the cat may have an illness that manifests itself in abnormal behavior. This is said on the basis that the cat breeder has socialized the cat well. Good breeders pay a lot of attention to developing the character of the cat so that he/she fits in with a human lifestyle.
If things don’t work out, an objective analysis of the cause should take place and a remedy found. This is usually preferable to a new start for the cat. It is also better for the humans and the rescue centers. Purebred cats can develop health problems that are rarely found in mixed breed cats due to the need to inbreed to develop the proper appearance of the cat. It would seem, in line with some other purebred breeds, that the Bengal cat can suffer from an inherited heart disorder called HCM. Buyers should note this – see Bengal cat health.
I don’t think the this cat breed is suited to apartment (permanent indoor) living as the breed is too active and inquisitive unless the apartment is enormous and full of entertainment and the person is around a lot. That said, to let a Bengal roam free in a non-secure garden is probably irresponsible as this cat is active and travels fast. They are also expensive and desirable. I always think an enclosure in a garden is best. Bengals are trainable to a degree as well, more so than the average cat. This may allow some walks on a leash (this link shows a Chausie on a leash. A Chausie is also a wildcat/domestic cat hybrid). Lets do all we can to eliminate Bengal cat rescue.
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